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Thermal Stability Studies of Diamond-Like Carbon Films

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2011

John E. Parmeter
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185
David R. Tallant
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185
Michael P. Siegal
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185
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Abstract

Thin films of amorphous carbon/hydrogen, also known as diamond-like carbon or DLC, are of interest as an economical alternative to diamond in a variety of coatings applications. We have investigated the thermal stability of DLC films deposited onto tungsten and aluminum substrates via plasma CVD of methane. These films contain approximately 40 atom % hydrogen, and based on Auger spectra the carbon in the films is estimated to be approximately 60 % sp3 hybridized and 40 % sp2 hybridized. Thermal desorption, Auger, and Raman measurements all indicate that the DLC films are stable to 250–300° C. Between 300 and 500° C, thermal evolution of hydrogen from the films is accompanied by the conversion of carbon from sp3 to sp2 hybridization, and Raman spectra indicate the conversion of the overall film structure from DLC to micro-crystalline graphite or so-called “glassy” carbon. These results suggest that DLC of this type is potentially useful for applications in which the temperature does not exceed 250° C.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1994

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